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Clem Beckett born in 1906 in Oldham, where he went to school when he finished his education he took a job with a blacksmith but as it became more and more difficult for him to manage on his earning he looked round for something more lucrative and found a job with a fairground, riding the wall of death, I don’t know if this was instead of his blacksmithing or as well as, at around the same time he became politically involved joining the Communist Party.

The first I can find about his riding speedway is that he rode for White City as a member of the team and because young lads were, in his view, being exploited he became involved in trying to set up a union for the riders to make sure that they were not being forced to take part in unsafe or dangerous practices. He formed the Dirt-track Riders Association (nothing to do with the Veteran Dirtrack Riders’ Association that was not set up until 1957 and is in no way political) Clem was concerned about riders being oppressed by the track owners although he loved to ride and felt at one with his dirt track bike he still felt that his fellow riders were not being treated as they should be and he wished to unionise his sport.

His political feeling apart, in March 1929 he set up a company called Provincial Dirt-Tracks Ltd. with fellow riders Spencer Stratton and Jimmy Hindle and formed the Sheffield Tigers having pooled together to buy land at Owlerton. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Clem volunteered to go to Spain and lost his life there early in 1937

Clem Beckett

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